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Re: Plant Prod products

Joanna Curtis wants my opinion on Plant Prod. Sorry, but while I know they
are "local" to me, I've never used them. For KNO3, I use Wilson brand Stump
Remover, which I _believe_ is pure KNO3. My various Echinodorus love the
stuff, but I have had problems with _some_ Crypts in the tank ever since I
started using it. I don't know if there is any correlation, just that I used
to have a thick lush stand of Crypt. pontederiifolia and now I'm just seeing
them sicken and die. I really have to do something about saving them soon,
before its too late. But in the same tank, a few spindly C. crispatula var.
balansae have become a waving jungle of brown and green, making me think of
a tropical brook basking under a jungle canopy.

Based on the %age breakdown you posted, I'd guess that the other elements
listed are mostly contaminants (you didn't buy Reagent Grade) - I wouldn't
worry about them, especially if you do regular water changes [You DO perform
regular water changes, I hope]. In other words, the stuff should work just
fine for you as a source of KNO3.

For "traces", I use a variety of things, depending upon the application. I
use Green Valley Fritted Trace Elements that I bought years ago from a
company in Vancouver (got the address from Steve Pushak's web site), and
I've been happy with it when building a substrate. It doesn't say anything
about chleating agents on the label.

The "chemists" on the list can probably give more detailed advice, but I
remember reading in Algayer (spelling???) that if a chleating agent is
present in excess, it can pull nutrients right out of plant tissue. You
mention that the Iron Chelate contains 48.6% DTPA. When designing a product
such as that, it is important that the amount of cheating agent used is
balanced, molecule for molecule, with the material you wish to be "held".
Unless that is bound to something, it could cause problems in your aquarium
because if it is "free" it is going to go looking in your tank for metal
ions to "grab onto" and if they happen to be inside your plants at the time,
too bad for the plants. At least, that is MY understanding of how that whole
thing works.

James Purchase